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Posts Tagged ‘1960s’

At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. This George Harrison song appears on the Beatles’ White Album, and is one of my favourite Harrison songs. It is sometimes referred to as Harrison’s first “great song”, although I would dispute this as I think he wrote some pretty great songs before this one.

And, an acoustic version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, which I like even more that the version on the White Album, appeared on the Beatles’ album Love, which was put together by George Martin and his son Giles for the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.

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At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Unusually for a Beatles’ song, it included another rock star on lead guitar, namely Eric Clapton, although he is not credited. By this time he and Harrison had become good friends, and Harrison invited Clapton to play on the recording. After initial reluctance – “Nobody ever plays on The Beatles’ records”, he agreed, and used Harrison’s Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. In addition to appearing 10th on the list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs, Rolling Stone Magazine have also ranked it the 7th in the list of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

Well…

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
Look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

Oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, ooh

Here is a video of this wonderful song, and it is the version which I prefer, the one in Cirque du Soleil’s Love. It also shows that particular part of the Cirque show. Enjoy!

 

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At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “A Hard Day’s Night”. This song was recorded in April 1964 and released in July. It was The Beatles’ 7th singles release in the Disunited Kingdom, and got to number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. It is also the title of The Beatles’ 3rd album, and the title of their first movie.

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At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “A Hard Day’s Night”

The title of the song apparently comes from a phrase that Ringo Starr would often say, with John Lennon being the main composer and singer. The opening chord is considered one of the most recognisable in rock ‘n’ roll. The single and album were both at number 1 simultaneously in both the DUK and the USA in August of 1964, something which had never been achieved before by any recording artist.

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright

You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things
And it’s worth it just to hear you say you’re going to give me everything
So why on earth should I moan, ’cause when I get you alone
You know I feel OK

When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright, oww

So why on earth should I moan, ’cause when I get you alone
You know I feel OK

When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright
You know I feel alright
You know I feel alright

Here is a video of this wonderful song from the album Live at the BBC. Enjoy!

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At number 12 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”. This is one of my favourite Beatles songs, not just of 1965 but of any period. I simply adore this song. It is, in  my opinion, pure perfection. Instrumentally, if features the first use of a sitar on a Beatles’ song (and probably on any western pop music song). Lyrically, it is both profound and light; leaving the listener wondering at the end of the song – what happens next?

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At number 12 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”

As the screen capture above to the Rolling Stone blurb says, “Norwegian Wood” was John Lennon writing about an affair, but in a way to try and hide it from his wife. The song is only ten lines long, but it is ten lines of perfection. It is a mainly Lennon composition, with Paul McCartney claiming that he contributed the two lines “She told me…..”, and the title. But, in an interview just before his death, Lennon claimed it was his song entirely, with no contribution from McCartney.

I suspect McCartney’s version of events is more true; even when a song was nearly entirely a creation of one of them, the other would often suggest ideas or word changes in the studio, as they were recording the song. This went on even right up until the end, when they were barely speaking to each other outside of the studio. So, with this song, I suspect that McCartney did indeed suggest a line or two and a word here and there.

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me…
She showed me her room, isn’t it good, norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, “It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, norwegian wood.

Here is a video of this mesmerising song. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this pretty famous song by The Mamas & the Papas – “California Dreaming'”. This is a hippy dippy song, released in December 1965. Actually, before I looked up when it was released, I would have guessed it was 1967, as it seems to fit perfectly with that year/summer of love. But not, it was the end of 1965, so ahead of its time in many ways.

The Mamas & the Papas were made up of John Phillips and Michelle Phillips (husband and wife), and Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot. “California Dreaming'” was written in 1963 by the husband and wife songwriting team when they were living in New York. “California Dreamin'” was only a moderate hit when it was released;  reaching number 4 in the USA but only number 27 in the UK. However, it has since gone on to become one of the best known songs of the mid-1960s.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreaming on such a winter’s day

Stepped into a church I passed along the way
Well, I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray
You know the preacher, like the cold, he knows I’m gonna stay
California dreaming on such a winter’s day

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
If I didn’t tell her I could leave today
California dreaming on such a winter’s day
On such a winter’s day, on such a winter’s day

The song is number 89 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs. Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!

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At number 13 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Revolution”. This is a great John Lennon rock ‘n’ roll song, but one with a message. In fact, for those of you who are not that familiar with The Beatles, there are two versions of “Revolution”. There is the rock ‘n’ roll version which was released as the B-side to the single “Hey Jude”, but there is also a slow, bluesy version on The Beatles’ White Album. In fact, the slow version was recorded before the fast version. They sound very different, so if you have not heard both I suggest you try to find the album version.

“Revolution” was inspired by current events. 1968 is often thought of as one of the years which has seen the most uprising and unrest of any year in the second half of the 20th Century. With the Vietnam War spiralling out of control, riots on the streets of Paris, unrest in Prague, the murder of Martin Luther King in April, and other world events, Lennon decided to write about them in “Revolution”. He had been political for a number of years, but was always prevented from saying what was on his mind by their manager Brian Epstein. With Epstein’s death in August 1967, Lennon felt the liberty to vent his views.

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At number 13 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Revolution”

Here are the lyrics to this fantastic song.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We’d all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We’re all doing what we can

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright, al…

You say you’ll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You’d better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright
Alright, alright

This is a live studio performance of the fast version, from The Beatles’ VEVO channel, so hopefully it will not disappear. Enjoy!

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Today I thought I would share this great anti-war song – “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was released in September 1969, and is specifically about the lucky men who were born into families which, somehow, meant that they were not called up for the draft to fight in the Vietnam war.

These were the senators’ sons, the millionaires’ sons, the fortunate sons. Sons like George W. Bush, who miraculously found himself in the National Guard, far away from any danger, rather than in Vietnam fighting. I wonder why? Oh, maybe because his father, George H. Bush, had the political clout and importance to make sure his precious son didn’t go and fight in the jungles of Vietnam, unlike the poor white and black men who were drafted there.

As the draft went on, it became more and more apparent how many fortunate sons were avoiding going to war, thanks to their family’s influence in bending the rules. And how many poor blacks and whites had no choice, they were forced to go and would be jailed should they refuse. The Vietnam war was wrong on so many levels, but the inequity of the draft was certainly one of its wrongs.

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“Fortunate Son” was released in September 1969, and talks of the privileged few who, somehow, avoided the Vietnam war draft.

“Fortunate Son” is rated at 99 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It really is a great song, I am surprised that I haven’t blogged about it before.

Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
Ooo, they’re red, white and blue
And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand
Lord, don’t they help themselves, y’all
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

Yeah, yeah
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”, y’all

It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one
It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one

Here is a video of the song. Enjoy!

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At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “She Loves You”. This song was recorded in July 1963 and was The Beatles’ 4th single release in the Disunited Kingdom, in late August 1963. “She Loves You” had advance orders of half a million copies in the DUK, and of course shot straight to number one in its first week of release. It remained in the charts for a staggering 31 weeks, with 18 of those being in the top 3 and spent 6 weeks in total at number 1.

“She Loves You” is a true joint Lennon-McCartney composition, both of them contributing to its lyrics and melody. Interestingly, it was credited as “Lennon-McCartney”, which would remain the credit of any song they wrote, either together or separately, from this point until The Beatles’ split in April 1970. But, prior to this single, their 2nd single “Please Please Me” and their 3rd single “From Me to You” were credited as “McCartney-Lennon”, something I did not know before I did the research for this blogpost. I have included photographs of the labels of their first four singles below so you can see how each was credited.

 

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At number 14 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “She Loves You”

Here are the lyrics of this incredibly catchy song. Paul McCartney once said in an interview that his father did not like the Americanism of “yeah, yeah, yeah” and asked why they could not have sung “yes, yes, yes”. An interesting suggestion, but I don’t think it would have worked in quite the same way!

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

You think you lost your love
When I saw her yesterday
It’s you she’s thinking of
And she told me what to say
She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad

She said you hurt her so
She almost lost her mind
And now she says she knows
You’re not the hurting kind
She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
And with a love like that
You know you should be glad

You know it’s up to you
I think it’s only fair
Pride can hurt you too
Apologize to her
Because she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad, ooh

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
With a love like that
You know you should be glad
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Here is a video of a live performance of “She Loves You”. Enjoy!

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